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I have an aggressive maltese that i rescued. He just got…

Customer Question
I have an aggressive...

I have an aggressive maltese that i rescued.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the dog?

He just got neutered last week he barks at everyone and every dog and he has starter to nip quite aggressively

Veterinarian's Assistant: Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Dog Trainer can help you. What is the dog's name and age?

Biggie. He is approximatly 3 years old He is calm when he is on my bed but I dont want to encourage that kind of behavior

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Dog Trainer should be aware of about the dog?

It's been 3 weeks since I've resuced him.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name?

His name is Biggie

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Dog Training
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Answered in 44 minutes by:
3/13/2018
Dog Trainer: Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist replied 4 months ago
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20,392
Experience: Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
Verified

Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

It is necessary for me to get a little information from you before I can type up your reply. Your patience is appreciated.

What obedience training has he had?

Is Biggie neutered?

Can you describe a few instances where he has been aggressive toward people and at least one toward dogs?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Jane,
He just for neutered last week. His stichws are still in. He hasn't had obidence training yet. He runs and barks aggressively at people and other dogs. If he isn't given attention he has started to growl and bark. For example right now he isn't getting attention so he is on two legs and growling at me. When I get him to sit, I will give him a snack but when I go to pet him he tries to bite.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
When he sees other dogs he will bark excessively
Dog Trainer: Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist replied 4 months ago

Thanks for that additional information. It is helpful.

If he has pain, then the pain itself may be a contributing factor to his aggression. Dogs that are in pain tend to be aggressive. However, after a week the pain should be subsiding and that won't be a cause for his aggressive behavior. So if it continues to be an issue, then it is a behavioral issue as well. I do suspect that it will continue.

Dogs are aggressive toward people and other dogs for a variety of reasons. It might be that they are fearful of other dogs and people and thus are aggressive before the other dog or a person can be aggressive toward them. In other cases, a dog is aggressive in order to dominate the other dogs or person and be the leader. Other causes could be that the dog feels they are the boss and as the boss they must protect the pack (you) from threats (other dogs). Since you have not had biggie long, that is unlikely to be the case especially since he is showing aggression toward you.

..

In addition, owners sometimes make the situation even worse by tensing up and worrying about what will happen. The dog senses the owner worry and feels that he is justified in his aggressive stance because you are obviously worried about the dog. They don't know you are worried about them attacking, they just feel that you are worried and assume it is the other dog. In this dog's case, it may be fear aggression toward other dogs and dominance when it comes to you.

.

For a dog like this, total control is necessary. This means not only physical control but on a mental level, you must be the bossa. To accomplish this, you may want to have the dog wear a basket muzzle anytime he is not in your own house or yard. This will not only prevent bites but also allow you to feel more at ease when walking him.

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Many dominant dogs are described as well behaved until you try to get them to do something they do not want to do, and then they reprimand you either with a growl or bite if you don't heed the growl. Things like taking away something they want, making them move when they don't want to, waking them up, etc can cause them to reprimand (bite) you. They use these growls and nips to control people.

Dogs that are allowed on furniture (even if put on the furniture) tend to feel that since they are elevated to your level or higher if on your lap, they mentally feel elevated as well in the pack order and thus are the boss. Keeping them on the floor can help lower them mentally back to a submissive position in the pack. So the first thing is to not allow him higher that the humans or even on the same level. In addition, humans shouldn't be on the floor with him either. A small short stool is enough to keep them higher than the dog when petting the dog. Attach a leash and use it to remove him from the furniture. Give a correction in the form of a quick tug and firm "NO" when he attempts to get on and a treat when he starts not trying to get on the furniture. Thus you are providing negative reinforcement for the getting on the furniture and positive reinforcement for the desired behavior (not attempting to get on the furniture).

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You will need to obedience train him. If you can, I would do group classes (with the muzzle if necessary) and let the trainer know of the problem your dog has. It might take you a few months of basic training before he is ready for group class. .The following site is helpful. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

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Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

Obedience training serves various purposes. It helps a dog learn what humans expect of them when they state a command which leads to self confidence and less fear. Each time a dog obeys a command, even if it is for a treat, it makes them a little more submissive to that human in the future which helps with dominance aggression. And since it is the leader or boss who is responsible for protecting the pack, if the dog is made submissive with training, you are responsible for protecting him, so that can reduce aggression due to fear and dominance. Of course, you will need to protect him from threats by other people and dogs. This means putting yourself between your dog and other dogs that may rush Biggie

You will also want to keep a leash on him at all times initially to grab if he should disobey. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well your dog does with training. Dogs like knowing what is expected of them and they love the little paper thin slices of hotdogs that I use for treats while training. Give this a try and see how it works for you.

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It will be helpful if you can find someone with a dog to help you once you have your dog listening to commands consistently. What you will do is have your dog on the leash. You will have your helper off in the distance. Your helper will gradually move their dog a bit closer to you preferably walking past your position in the distance. As long as your dog ignores them, you can give your dog praise and a treat. The second you see him fixate on the other dog or show any other sign of aggression (hair standing up, etc.) give your dog a correction by giving a short tug and a firm low toned "NO". It shouldn't take your dog long to realize you will not tolerate the aggression and that if he ignores the other dog, he gets treats. Once this happens you can repeat the training moving the other dog closer until he is no longer trying to lunge at other dogs. You will need to practice this when you and your dog are walking as well. Do this with as many dogs as you can and with people alone as well.

You can also have other people give him commands and reward him with treats when he obeys and acts in an acceptable manner. This will help him feel more comfortable around others as well.

In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques on the previous website, you may have to consult a professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.

https://apdt.com/

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I sincerely ***** ***** I have helped you. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen ( rating me now does not close your question). We can continue here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

.

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Dog Trainer: Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist replied 4 months ago

Hi Again,
I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. I strive to provide the best answer possible. Did you find my answer helpful. If so I hope you will take the opportunity to let me know if this was helpful to you.

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